back to article FCC to vote on US mobile competition probe

The FCC has scheduled an open meeting for next Thursday, to decide if the regulator should launch a full examination of competition in the US mobile industry. With its new-found willingness to take on all comers, the FCC is proposing a Notice of Inquiry tasked with gathering information about competition between commercial …


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  1. EvilGav 1

    What ??

    Have the FCC failed entirely to convert currencies ?

    I'm not aware of any contract phone (or even SIM only contract), that comes in at much under £10 per month.

    If they're looking at PAYG, then thats different, but also the cost would be based on how much someone uses the phone and is not a contract as such - the contract ends when you run out of/stop topping up money.

  2. Bilgepipe

    Choice Schmoice

    "AT&T explained "We like the fact that this new FCC and the new chairman seem to be very data-driven... When you look at the facts in the wireless industry, you see a lot of choice and variety.""

    Not if you want an iPhone on Verizon you don't.

  3. slider5634
    Thumb Up


    All I can say is, it's about damn time...

    I don't think it's unfair to ask for good coverage and service at a decent price without fear of being penalized if I think I can get better service somewhere else. Besides, how exactly do you consider locking someone into a 2-year contract competitive?

  4. Roger Stenning

    How much a year?!

    Granted we're talking about Americans here, not the British market...

    I'm paying £30 a month to Vodafone for my two year deal. That works out (less extra monthly charges for out of plan calls, insurance (another fiver on top), and so on) at £360/annum, or about $594.28 at todays exchange rate.

    That's 30 quid a month for a high-end mobile phone, good allotment of calls, unlimited texts, and a standard data package (500Mb/month), which is generally considered a reasonably good deal over here.

    Considering that it doesn't even cover the cost (retail including VAT) of the phone in the first year, which is over 400 quid, I'd say it's a damn good deal, myself.

    Just what would OECD consider a good deal, out of interest?

  5. Nate Phillips

    Competition, not Customer

    This isn't about gouging the customer. Not as far as I can tell, anyway.

    FTA: "...but this time the focus is on how the operators deal with each other, and whether the current landscape provides a competitive environment to the benefit of customers."

    It's about all of the big players screwing over the smaller local providers (not that I knew any existed...) when it comes to providing roaming and other sorts coverage. I highly doubt any real benefit will trickle down to us, the consumer. Unless you consider additional fees "benefits".

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    "competition in the US mobile industry"

    That will be a very short meeting because there's nothing much to discuss.

  7. h 6
    Thumb Up


    Finally--an FCC with balls that is not owned by the conglomerates. Thank you, Mr, President.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Way to go FCC!

    I sure am glad to see them doing their job again (although nothing has come of it yet). I can't wait to start seeing the results of the investigations.

    @Roger - I have a similiar plan with AT&T:

    400 voice minutes

    Unlimited data

    $0.20 per text message (which is insane)

    I pay about $100/mo, so $1200 or £600 or so?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @ Roger Stenning

    My wife has a BB with a plan similar to yours and pays $125 a month with a 2 year contract. That is for one phone. When I lived in the UK most things cost the same in both places just change the pounds to dollars symbol but this is outrageous

  10. Lance 3


    Verizon Wireless had the chance to go GSM back in 2000. They tested and had already made up their mind before the tests that they were not going to go route. They only did it because it was part of the agreement with Vodafone.

    The rumor always has been that Apple went to Verizon first and they rejected it.

    So, your gripe is with Verizon.

  11. James O'Brien
    Thumb Down

    @Roger Stenning

    Yes I know this is in dollars.....

    Lets see here I have a $600+ dollar phone

    I have unlimited Txt $29.99

    Unlimited Data $39.99

    Some other bullshit that works out to be around $10

    and the phone plan itself is $59.99 if i recall off the top

    Thats my monthly phone bill. Methinks they more then made up in the first 6 months on me. Good ol' ATT always fucking....erm looking out for the consumers.

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    You can't stop the signal, Mal

    The first company to let its customers buy whatever phone they want (unsubsidized) and connect to the network for a flat fee for all national connections will clean up.

    If the Internet was a phone company then you'd have separate fees for HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP, SSL - and you'd be told that this was the best way to promote new features and competition.

  13. asdf Silver badge

    FCC bought by cable industry

    Don't get me wrong the US wireless industry has done some pretty slimy things over the years but it is very rare for a given area to only have one wireless provider. Cable TV and internet on the other hand is a much worse problem as they have a government imposed monopoly almost every where in the country. Now that they have gotten into just about every telecom service why is people don't see that having a few big companies with state imposed monopolies is a terrible idea? Especially when they cowtow to the media companies and unilaterally can control how what access people have to information. Oh that right they buy the politicians and pay bums to show up at the public comment meetings. Bah American uneducated sheeple fail again.

  14. shawnfromnh

    I won't pay for it

    My brother just got a new plan for his phone for $70 a month "NH USA" with a 2 year contract. I was shocked. For a stinkin phone. I used to have a phone line for $20 a month and that was unlimited local and I ran my internet off it also and this was just 10 years ago. Now the same line is $30 minimum and if I need it installed which should take around a 1/2 hr it'll cost $140. They want me to pay $140 to use their service but running a wire from the box at the side of the house through a hole and into a jack. I could do it but I can't get into the box on the side of the house so basically they're reaming me for not using a cell but I'm not buying some crappy phone I can just barely hit the buttons on because they're so small.

    I think this phone fad is getting just plain foolish. I can't believe people actually are falling for this stuff but considering the average user is some dumb chick on welfare without a life or a real brain in her head in my country and is attracted to anything shiny that beeps I really shouldn't be surprised at all.

  15. Neoc

    Re: What??

    @EvilGav 1 onFriday 21st August 2009 14:08 GMT: "Have the FCC failed entirely to convert currencies ? I'm not aware of any contract phone (or even SIM only contract), that comes in at much under £10 per month."

    erm... £10 is about AU$25 (at the moment)... so... I'm currently on a SIM-only plan with Vodafone for just under AU$20 a month (that's roughly £8 or US$16 a month). And I have yet to go over the allowance. Admittedly, by the time I add the data-plan that comes closer to AU$30 (£12 or US$23) a month, but still...

    You guys are getting screwed. Royally.

  16. My New Handle


    "I pay about $100/mo, so $1200 or £600 or so?"

    At today's exchange rate that USD 1000 is GBP 724.94. My iPhone contract works out at GBP 408 per year which is USD 675 in your spendage for 500 minutes, 600 texts and "unlimited" data plus pubic WiFi at certain hotspots.

    Good luck with the FCC taking on the inter-mobile operator competition. No doubt they'll be squealing like stuck pigs all the way. You've only got to watch the behaviour of that inglorious cartel, the GSMA, who despise any notion of true market force and prefer premium charging for any kind of roaming for voice and data.

  17. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Hmm around here in .si

    We get:

    200 eur up front for the phone(N95) more than a year ago(for a 2 year contract)

    ~5eur/month for basic service(no free calls or free sms)

    +3-18eur/month for 3g data(from 20MB to 20GB) there was unlimited for 16eur a month ago but they replaced that with the 20gb limited service.

    So the yearly cost around here would be(split over 2 years) around 380 eur... If I drop data completly then only 160eur/year.

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